Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Kickstarter: Holly JULY Christmas with Phoebe Gildea and Noah Brenner

Just a brief post here today to support a great little Christmas music Kickstarter project ending in the early, early AM on Aug 1.  Phoebe Gildea and Noah Brenner are creating a new album of Christmas music, due out for this holiday season.

Phoebe Gildea is a soprano who focuses on opera and musical theatre.  Noah is a harper (now, that's a new word for me - I always thought is was harpist), a singer, and an arranger.  They met while tango dancing, and are now collaborating on what should be an excellent collection of Christmas music!

Phoebe and Noah have a quite modest Kickstarter goal, that as of this posting is less than $1000 from being successfully backed.  They have a splendid selection of backer rewards, including near-immediate downloads of two bonus songs.

Please visit their Kickstarter page, read about their project, and watch their video.  Phoebe and Noah are happy, funny, energetic, and enthusiastically committed to this project.  They are exactly the type of artists I love to support, and they will give you a little charge of good feelin's, which all of us need these days.

Love these artists, love their project, and I hope you'll visit their page and be convinced to be a backer.

Merry July!

Have a Holly JULY Christmas Kickstarter site

Phoebe Gildea website - listen to Phoebe!

Noah Brenner website


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Der Bingle's Tips for a Christmas in July Party!

Merry July good people!

There are many in the Christmas-on-the-web community that share a little taste of the holidays in mid-Summer, celebrating Christmas in July.  I think this is a beautiful thing, as, in July we are now closer to Christmas next than we are to Christmas past.  This year I thought I'd share a few tips to a guaranteed successful Christmas in July Party!

Well, anytime in July is good, but it would be best to avoid early July so you don't interfere with Independence Day festivities.  So, I think that July 25th is perfect, being 5 months from Christmas, but the Saturday closest to the 25th will work splendidly.

Der Bingle loves traditional Christmas cards, and I think that sending Christmas cards out to your guests as invitations really gets the spirit in high gear from the get go.  It may be tough to find Christmas cards at your local retailers this time of year, but fortunately Christmas on the internet never stops.  Here are some of my favorite sites for Christmas cards:

Paperless Post - a veritable treasure trove of cards for all occasions, including an extensive Christmas collection.

A couple designs from Paperless Post:

Retro Christmas Card Company - modern cards with a retro feel.

This is a great one from Retro with a party feel:

Kansas City local Artist Stephanie Summers' holiday cards 

And, I really dig the cards created by the Museum of Modern Art

Find a design that fits your party and surprise your guests with a summertime Christmas card!


It's much too hot in these parts (Missouri) to wear an ugly Christmas sweater in July, but fear not!  There are plenty of sources for ugly Christmas sweater T-shirts on the internet!  Here's one: TeePublic.  And there are many others to choose from, including quite a selection on Amazon.  So, stay cool and still dress for the occasion!


Even though it's Summer, you can still keep the spirit of Christmas dinner alive and well.  Instead of a roast turkey or a baked, glazed ham, try smoked sliced turkey and ham from your local deli.  You can smoke it yourself on your grill, as long as you have a way for the smoke to permeate it.  Get thin-sliced ham and turkey, and enclose it in a grill basket (like this).  Soak some wood chips, like hickory, mesquite, or apple.  Get your charcoal grill going, add the soaked chips to get a good smoke going, and place the meat in the basket on the grill.  The smoke will give the meat excellent flavor.

Fresh summer vegetables like red peppers and green beans add festive color to your menu.

And it wouldn't be a summer party without home-made ice cream!  Here's the ol' family recipe for excellent home-made vanilla:

Vanilla Ice Cream

4-5 eggs - beaten
1 1/2 cup sugar
2-3 cups whole milk

1 can evaporated milk
1 pint half & half
1/2 pint whipping cream

Peppermint candies, crushed,

Stir eggs, sugar, and milk together.  Cook over slow heat in top of double boiler, stirring occasionally, until it coats a spoon slightly.  Add evaporated milk, half & half, and whipping cream.  Stir to mix.  Add this mix to your ice cream freezer and freeze according to freezer manufacturer's directions.

For our manual hand-crank freezer, I crank for 30 minutes, constantly keeping an ice-salt mixture around the freezer canister.

Once the ice cream is frozen, immediately add the crushed peppermint candy and mix well, then serve.  Now it's truly a Christmas in July frozen minty treat!


What would a Christmas party be without Christmas music?  Just a regular ol' party, that's what.  The final ingredient in a great Christmas in July party is a super, upbeat selection of Christmas music.  A few recommendations:

The Beach Boys Christmas Album - a perfect blend of summertime sounds and Christmas
The Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails sets
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's Christmas albums
Brian Setzer Orchestra's Christmas albums

Or you can stream Christmas playlists from Amazon Prime Music or services such as 8tracks or Mixcloud.  The King of Jingaling himself has several Mixcloud playlists ready to kick up your Christmas in July party jams!


Now, add in some fun activities and you have the perfect Christmas in July party.  Maybe you can do a summer-themed steal-a-gift/white elephant exchange.  Maybe some Christmas karaoke by the pool.  I'd love to hear your ideas for fun and games.

So there you have it - Der Bingle's Christmas in July Party Tips - go have a Merry ol' time!